How to install macOS updates without installing MacOS Monterey?

Wondering how you can install updates on existing macOS installations, such as macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina, without skipping and installing MacOS Monterey?

Although MacOS Monterey is now available for download for anyone who wants to install it, not everyone may be ready to update. Fortunately, Apple offers system software updates and security updates for the latest two versions of previous-generation system software, in this case macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina, so if you want you can install updates for those system software versions and avoid Monterey.

This is pretty simple, but you’d be forgiven for not seeing how it works because the buttons look like text and are very small.

Download current macOS updates without upgrading to MacOS Monterey

This also works for MacOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina:

  1. From the Apple menu, go to “System Preferences”
  2. Select “Software Update”
  3. Look for the tiny blue text button “More info …” below the text that says “Other updates are available” and click on it
  4. Installing an update for macOS without installing Monterey

  5. Select the updates you want to install and select “Install now”
  6. Download macOS updates without installing MacOS Monterey

  7. Separately, make sure that the “Automatically keep my Mac updated” option is unchecked (or set via Advanced so that “Install updates for macOS” is not enabled)

In the screenshot examples here, macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 is installed while avoiding installing the full MacOS Monterey 12.0.1 update.

For macOS Big Sur, you will be able to find system updates such as macOS Big Sur 11.6.1, Safari updates, security updates and others.

For macOS Catalina users, you will be able to find available Safari updates and security updates.

In the future, updates for macOS Big Sur and Catalina will likely be limited to Safari updates and security updates, as Apple typically makes efforts to develop the latest generation of operating system, in this case MacOS Monterey.

Automatically disable “Install updates for macOS” to avoid MacOS Monterey

If you are using the automatic software update function in MacOS, and for now you want to avoid MacOS Monterey, do the following: From the Apple menu, select “System Preferences” and go to “Software Update”, then click on ‘Advanced’ and turn off the option Install macOS ‘updates to avoid waking up with Monterey MacOS installed one morning.

turn off automatic software updates for the macOS system

If you configured it as in the image above, macOS will check for system software updates and install important system data files, but will not automatically install macOS updates such as Monterey.

If you’re not quite ready for MacOS Monterey, or are waiting for a later release, don’t worry, but don’t ignore the available security updates and other software updates for your current version of macOS.

Are you staying on your current version of macOS? Any special reason? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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